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Pollees divided over desired speed of revision of system for abdication, Nikkei poll

When asked in a Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo public opinion poll [conducted on Aug. 26–28] if the government should rush to amend the system so that the emperor can abdicate, respondents were split with 43% indicating that the government “should rush” and 45% saying that the government “should take time to consider the matter.” Some 5% said that “there is no need to revise the system.”


In the [previous] survey conducted Aug. 9–11, some 89% said that abdication, currently not allowed, “should be permitted.” Although the phrasing of the question differs in this survey, the current survey also found that almost 90% thought abdication should be allowed, if the figures for those who indicated that the government “should rush to revise the system” and those who said that the government “should take time to consider the matter” are added together.


Abdication was essentially evenly supported across age group and political party supported, although the desired speed of revision varied by age group. Some 55% of those in their 40s thought that the government “should rush” to revise the system, while 40% thought that the government “should take time.” The percentages for respondents in their 50s were 60% and 36%, respectively. Thus more than half of respondents in these two age groups thought that the government “should rush.” On the other hand, some 33% of those in their 20s thought that the government “should rush” while 58% thought that “time should be taken.” Those in their 60s and 70s had similar percentages at 39% and 52% and 36% and 46%, respectively. In these three age groups, more respondents thought that the government “should take time to consider the matter.” Those in their 30s were split at 47% and 48%, respectively.


By political party supported, LDP supporters were divided, with 45% saying that the government should rush while 47% indicating otherwise. Similar results were found for Democratic Party supporters with 47% wanting the government to rush and 45% disagreeing.


[Polling methodology: The telephone poll was conducted on Aug. 26–28 by Nikkei Research Inc. of men and women, aged 18 and over, nationwide on a random digit dialing (RDD) basis, including cell phones [as well as landlines]. A total of 1,055 valid responses were received for a response rate of 47.0%.]

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